Tagore's 'Kabuliwala' Has Given Us a Brand: Afghan Prez

New Delhi
Tagore's 'Kabuliwala' Has Given Us a Brand: Afghan Prez

Rabindranath Tagore's famous short story Kabuliwala has contributed more to brand Afghanistan which it could not do with billions of dollars, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said today while fondly remembering the late Nobel laureate.

Ghani, who arrived here yesterday, identified terror as a major challenge facing the region and said his government was determined to make Afghanistan the "graveyard of terror".

He was full of praise for Indian democracy as he talked about Tagore and the cultural links between the two countries.

In Kabuliwala, Tagore depicts the story of an Afghan travelling to India with the intention to earn some money in order to pay debts and to save his home in Afghanistan.

"May I take a moment to thank Rabindranath Tagore. Kabuliwala has done more to give us a brand which we could not buy with a billion dollars of advertisements.

"I am delighted that the old version is being watched and a new version is being prepared that will give you a much more authentic sitting inside Afghanistan," Ghani said while speaking at a joint briefing along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House.

He fondly remembered the works of Tagore and said that he was taught about the famous author during his childhood by his grandmother.

"I speak of Tagore because I was raised on Tagore by my grandmother who lived in Dehradun," Ghani said while talking about India's vision and the remarkable transformation.

"But India's impact on others is not been as much understood."

Ghani also spoke about Abul Kalam Azad, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and talked highly about Indian democracy.

"Abul Kalam Azad, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were not names but ideas people leaders. I would like to pay tribute to Indian democracy, to the discourse of rule of law, to the discourse of equality, to the discourse to the engagement in transformation," he said.

Ghani said peace was the main goal of his government as "the shadow of terror haunts our children, our women, our youth".

"Terror must be confronted and must be overcome. Our will must not be underestimated and we will not be beaten to submission," he said, adding terror must be "contained if the disease is to be cured".

The Afghan President also underlined the need for having a regional framework to deal with the menace.

He said the "state systems" must "rise" to understand the challenge as "terrorism cannot be classified into good or bad".

"It cannot be differentiated. We must have a unified approach. We must be united both in the region and globally to contain terror," he said.

Talking about Afghanistan's transition, Ghani said, "Our political statecraft has shown that divisions of the past are not going to be the confining limitation of the Afghan imagination. The formation of government of national unity is a tribute to desire of the people for unity."

On SAARC, he said the region must be made economically vibrant and improving connectivity would ensure greater movement of goods and services.

"We very much welcome your (India's) emphasise on bilateral and multilateral transit and transport agreement," he said.

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